An all time win for Net Neutrality advocates.
If you haven’t heard already, the Federal Communications Commission, or commonly known as the FCC, held a 3-2 vote Friday. The vote was on, you guessed it, Net Neutrality. The term is used to define the Internet as a utility. The reason why this is a big deal is because everyone on the internet will be treated equally when it comes to loading time on certain blogs and/or video streaming.
Not too long ago, many major corporations like Comcast proposed what they liked to call “Internet fast lanes” for certain paid services like Netflix. Their goal was providing faster streaming for a premium fee, which resulted in faster loading times for their customer’s favorite shows. At a quick glance, this might seem like an awesome idea but it’s actually not.
For example, YouTube and Netflix are both juggernauts in video streaming. If Net Neutrality was not implemented to treat everyone equal, then the Netflix corporation could pay their way for more users to use their product. This would make their services a lot faster than YouTube, essentially putting the little guy who already works tirelessly on his YouTube channel at an even greater disadvantage.
This made social media services Like Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter outraged. So they started the campaign to defend Net Neutrality. They came up with “National Slowdown Day.” Earlier this year on September 10th, sites across the Internet had the “loading symbol” (spinning wheel of death) to show people what would happen if Net Neutrality lost.
Lawyers try to make us think that paying premiums will essentially result in fast Internet lanes for everyone. We are led to believe that corporations will provide premium “hyperspace lanes,” however, this is not true. That argument has a double standard. Having “fast lanes” and “Hyperspace lanes” is the exact same thing as “slow lanes” and “fast lanes.” One is always going to be faster than others regardless of what you call it. Lets say if Internet Service Providers got their way. They would create their “fast lanes,” but then give them the freedom to treat the Internet however they wanted. ISPs could put speed bumps on blogs, so when blog writers don’t pay premiums, the readership numbers will suffer.
As a side note, in the conference debating Net Neutrailty, the head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, said, “The action that we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control free and open access to the internet.” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said, “We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind.” Commissioner Mignon Clyburn also said, “We are here because we want to give those with deep pockets and those with empty pockets the same opportunities to succeed.”
In the end, the Internet was classified as a utility and Net Neutrality stands!
Let us know your stance on Net Neutrality in the comment section below!